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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are providing the remote sensing community with a new perspective on image acquisition

Dan Johnson Ph.D. (IUPUI Geography) and Jeremy Webber (CEES) recently presented "Potential Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Avenues for Research and Collaboration” at the February Indiana Silver Jackets meeting.  The presentation gave a general overview of remote sensing research talking place at IUPUI and how UAVs can be utilized to enhance these efforts. 

UAVs have many research benefits including: being inexpensive, easy to operate, having high spatial resolution, and the ability to carry a wide variety of instruments.  Potential applications include modeling vulnerability to extreme heat, flood analysis, vegetation species identification, identifying failed septic systems, and monitoring fluvial erosion hazards.

We do not see UAVs as replacement for satellite or aerial based data, but rather an augmentation to the existing remote sensor data available.  Being able to collect imagery on a more real time basis will not only be of value to the research community, but also help with risk assessment and mitigation efforts.  It is an exciting time to be working in the remote sensing community!

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